Anton Batagov
The Monk Thogmey's Thirty-Seven Precepts

based on the poem
The Thirty-Seven Bodhisattva Practices
by Gyalsey Thogmey Zangpo
chanted by Lama Tsering Dondrub

chanting: Lama Tsering Dondrub
piano, organ: A.B.
vibraphone, percussion: Peteris Shuniatis
guitar: Theophrastus
bass: Peter Wood
cello: Nikita Kochergin

recording: XMZ, A.B.
mixing, editing, mastering: A.B.
artwork: Nick Shtok
executive producer: Ludmila Dmitrieva

written and recorded in the spring of 2005

(c) 2007 Tummo
(c)(p) 2007 Long Arms Records CDLA 07087

The Tibetan monk, yogi and philosopher Gyalsey Thogmey Zangpo (1285-1369)
was renowned for his vast knowledge and high spiritual realizations. He
wrote more than a hundred texts clarifying the teachings of the Buddha and
spent many years in retreats and meditation. When disciples listened to him,
tears streamed down their faces.
Resolving to compose a brief and lucid teaching that could be understood by
the unsophisticated layman, he composed The Thirty-Seven Bodhisattva
Practices, a didactic poem setting forth the main tenets of the Bodhisattva
Path—the essence of the Mahayana teachings. This poem, written in the
fourteenth century, remains one of the best known and most popular works of
Tibetan Buddhist literature. For almost seven hundred years it has been a
source of inspiration for those entering the path of the Dharma. These
teachings are truly timeless and universal.
Alexander Nariniani. From the preface to the Russian edition of The
Thirty-Seven Bodhisattva Practices

The Sanskrit word bodhisattva refers to a person who sees the relief of
others’ suffering as the sole meaning of human existence. A bodhisattva is a
human being who has achieved such a high degree of control over mind and
body that he can easily do what an ordinary person can only dream of. It
isn’t any more difficult for a bodhisattva to transport himself between
distant points in time and space than it is to switch TV channels. What is
more, he is able to escape from the cycle of rebirth that is called samsara.
And that’s exactly what all such people would do, regarding it as the
triumphant end of their spiritual path, if they didn’t have boundless
compassion. A bodhisattva finds it impossible to enjoy the bliss of a
personal nirvana while billions of creatures are still being born,
suffering, and dying. Instead of going “up” immediately upon his physical
death, a bodhisattva does the opposite: he “falls down” to samsara, being
born again and again and choosing the times and places for rebirth that will
bring maximum benefit to other beings.

From a “normal” perspective (that of an egoist who lives only for his or her
own welfare), a bodhisattva’s way of life, motivation, and deeds looks a lot
like insanity. Some, however, make this model of behavior their compass in
life. No, it is not their dream to master unaided flight, read minds,
predict the future, or perform other “commercial miracles”. They simply have
the energy of compassion that is dormant in everyone’s heart. One day this
energy awakens, and a person finds himself or herself on the bodhisattva
path. Thogmey Zangpo addresses his precepts to these people.

When I first thought about writing a composition based on The Thirty-Seven
Bodhisattva Practices, I decided to have a recording of the complete poem
performed in traditional manner, and use this recording as a vocal track. In
the Tibetan tradition, sacred texts are chanted without any written
notation, and the principles of chanting are transmitted from guru to
disciple. I asked Lama Tsering Dondrub, who has been giving a series of
teachings in Moscow with detailed line-by-line commentaries on this text, to
do the studio recording. He kindly agreed, and his performance—marvelously
expressive and radiant with energy—became the central element of my “musical

In my composition, each verse is preceded by an instrumental passage. These
instrumental sections have their own line of development, independent from
that of the verses. For this reason, the music runs in two parallel layers:
the first is a meditative sound structure that does not discriminate between
happiness and suffering, joy and sorrow; the second is a distant echo of
early Seventies rock music in which all these human emotions are condensed
to a single point and amplified like a ray of sunlight by a magnifying
glass. The two layers intersect time and again, because the perfection
attained by a bodhisattva in his meditation is not a goal but a jumping-off
point for a leap into the abyss called “life”—repeated over and over until
samsara is emptied.

Anton Batagov, May 2005
(English translation by A.B. edited by Carl Copeland)
World premiere of complete work
February 18, 2009
London Royal Festival Hall, United Kingdom
Vladimir MARTYNOV,
Opera VITA NUOVA More Info

The Monk Thogmey's Thirty-Seven Precepts - new disk of Anton Batagov is released More Info

The 1st International Festival of Joint Projects "Amplitude"
25th, 28th of September
More Info

LONG ARMS FEST- 4 (2007) September 27-30, October 6-27 -- FOURTH presentation of the MAIN INTERNATIONAL VANGUARD FORUM OF TWO CAPITALS -- LONG ARMS in Moscow and APOSITION FORUM in St. Petersburg.
More Info

10 April, 2007, concert In memory of Nick DMITRIEV

Dom Cultural Center
more info

13, 14 of November, 2006 Moscow Composers Orchestra on London Jazz Festival
More Info

September 27 - October 4, Moscow, 2006
DOM Cultural Centre
More Info

8, 9, 10 of July 2006 the play "Mozart and Salieri. Requiem" by Vladimir Martynov music.
14, 16, 17 of July the play "Song XXIII. Interment of Patrokl. Games" by Vladimir Martynov music
More Info

10th of April, 2006
Nick, we remember you...

A film about Nick Dmitriev is now available for download. The film was shown in 2004 on Russian Channel TV Culture
DivX (300 mb) download now

23d of November - 2nd of December, 2005
5 performances of "Unorthodox Chants" Project in UK and Belgium
More Info

17th-19th of November, 2005 Festival in Tokyo in memory of Nick Dmitriev
More Info

1st-10th of October 2005, Long Arms Festival - 2
in memory of Nick Dmitriev
see website

1st of July, 2004, 19:00


Kozitsky lane., house 5

metro Puschkinskaya, Tverskaya, Chekhovskaya
information - 299-2262

new music festival

in memory of Nick Dmitriev

from May 15 till 19
M.Nikitskaya str., 24

composers Martynov, Batagov, Karmanov, Aigi, Zagny, Pelecis, Rabinovich, Semzo, Glass, Dresher and others performers Tatiana Grindenko, Galina Muradova, OPUS POSTH ensemble, Anton Batagov, Sergei Zagny, Alexey Aigi, 4.33 ensemble, Tibor Semzo, GORDIAN KNOT ensemble, ALKONOST choir and others

book tickets

Intro  Personalities  Institution  Projects  CDs Production  Press  Contacts  Subscription  Links
(C) 2004 Äåâîöèî Ìîäåðíà,

works with a support of Ford Foundation